Yorkshire hospital starts 'first of its kind' smoking ban to surrounding areas

Barnsley Hospital has become the first hospital site in the country to introduce a smoke-free road ban to help make smoking 'invisible' in the town.

Barnsley Hospital becomes the first hospital site in the country to introduce a smoke-free road ban to help make smoking 'invisible' in the town. Photo credit: Shutterstock

A smoke-free site for staff members and visitors is currently in place at Barnsley Hospital.

Now both Pogmoor Road and Gawber Road that surround Barnsley hospital have become smoke-free today, Wednesday July 28, making it the first hospital site in the country to take such a step.

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But both Pogmoor Road and Gawber Road that surround Barnsley hospital have become smoke-free today, Wednesday July 28 - making it the first hospital site in the country to take such a step. Photo credit: JPIMedia

As part of the scheme eye-catching signage created by 11-year-old Jasmine Hurdiss is displayed across the two roads and on the pavement.

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Barnsley Council made the move to help the long-term aim to make smoking invisible in the town and 'denormalise' the act particularly around children, so they are less likely to start smoking.

Doctor Richard Jenkins, the chief executive for Barnsley Hospital Trust, said: “By making smoking invisible, we can contribute to children and adults not taking up the habit as it reduces smoking being seen as a normal activity.

“Most people in Barnsley don’t smoke, and the numbers that do are falling - less than two in ten people now smoke in the borough.

Doctor Richard Jenkins, the chief executive for Barnsley Hospital Trust. Photo credit: Submitted photo

“The QUIT programme at the hospital recognises that smoking is an addiction that often starts in childhood and needs medical treatment to support people to stop.

"Therefore, making smoking invisible in areas around the hospital and where children frequent is very important.”

When asked by The Yorkshire Post how the smoking ban would be enforced, Dr Jenkins, said: "We're hoping people will respect our wishes to keep the hospital site and the roads surrounding it smoke-free.

"We're a place that people come to when they are ill and we're about promoting health; having people smoke outside our entrances isn't consistent with that.

"Smoking remains one of the biggest causes of avoidable ill-health for people in this country and particularly in Barnsley so we feel it's really important to do all we can to make smoking invisible."

Coun Jim Andrews, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health, added: "In 2016, we set out a vision to create several smoke-free zones across our borough, and we want this to be the latest in a long line of successes.

"We hope people will show consideration for others by not smoking in this new smoke-free area.

"Children and young people are influenced by adult behaviour and are less likely to start smoking if they do not view it as a normal part of everyday life. By making smoking invisible to children, we hope to vastly reduce the number of children and young people picking up the habit and inspire a smoke-free generation."

The smoke-free roads initiative is part of a wider scheme in Barnsley, which has already introduced smoke-free play areas in local parks and a smoke-free zone in Barnsley Pals Centenary Square in recent years.

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